Study shows that education is not enough to overcome inequalities – ScienceDaily

A recent study reveals that social inequalities persist, regardless of the level of education, especially for men.

“Education is not the equalization that many people think it is,” says Anna Manzoni, study author and associate professor of sociology at North Carolina State University.

The study aimed to determine to what extent the social status of a parent gives an advantage to his children. The research used the educational outcomes of parents as an indicator of social status and examined the earnings of adult children as an indicator of career success.

To answer the research question, Manzoni looked at data from respondents to the National Survey of University Graduates between 2010 and 2017. Specifically, Manzoni focused on US citizens aged 35 to 67. years who reported on their wages and their parents’ education. . The final sample size was 56,819 people: 32,337 men and 24,482 women.

The analysis found that if a son obtains a similar degree to that of a parent, the son will earn more money than if his parent did not achieve the same level of education.

For example, imagine Son A becomes a doctor and has a parent who was also a doctor. Meanwhile, Son B also becomes a doctor, but his parents only had bachelor’s degrees. The study found that in general, son A will earn more money than son B, even if they have the same degree.

This effect also exists for girls, but it is much weaker.

“The effect we see here essentially preserves social stratification for sons – less for daughters,” Manzoni says. “We like to think that if somebody gets to college, becomes a lawyer, becomes a doctor, he’s been successful. But what we’re seeing is that even getting a graduate degree probably won’t put you on the same footing as someone who earned the same degree but started higher on the social ladder.

“One thing to remember is that expanding access to education is valuable, but education alone is not enough to solve our society’s challenges of inequality,” says Manzoni.

“This work shows that social origin is important, but we do not know what motivates this structural inequality”, adds Manzoni. “Is it social capital? Access to networks? Different financial resources? Are parental backgrounds more and more important as a greater percentage of the population obtains a university degree? The advantage is there early in a child’s career? room for further research on this topic. “

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Material provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.

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